In spite of, not because of

We had a good worship service on Sunday. Apart from recurring problems with the monitor the praise team uses (the praise team was going without words for most songs!), it was a good service.

I have been leading worship on a regular basis for about three months and, of course, some services are “better” than others. This past Sunday was great – not because the vocalists were better or the musicians were perfect – but simply because we had the opportunity to see people in worship.

Part of the song set was the hymn “How Great Thou Art” followed by Chris Tomlin’s “How Great is our God.” Those songs flow together so well, both because they are in the same key and the themes are so similar. It just makes for a great song set and our people are familiar with those songs.

When we moved into “How Great is our God” several in our congregation stood on their own in worship. In that moment, it wasn’t about the people around them or where they were…it was simply a moment of worship. It was humbling to stand on the platform and be able to see it and realize it had nothing to do with me or the others on the stage. We started the song, but it wasn’t because of us. Rather, even in spite of us, our congregation was engaged in worship and proclaimed how great God is.

For me, it was a sacred moment. To see people worship God. To be in a place where I was moved to worship because of their worship and because of the greatness of God. I had just a small taste of what Isaiah experienced in Isaiah 6. Even at a glimpse of His power and presence, I knew I was so unworthy. Yet, in spite of me, not because of me, we were able to worship. I need to remember that moment, to remember who I am and be reminded again of who He is. “Name above all names & worthy of all praise.”